Posts Tagged 'cinnamon'

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

There’s no crazy like 8th-grade-with-7-days-of-school-left crazy.  These kids are wired.  I wish I could share their enthusiasm, but it’s hard to get excited about summer when it never gets above 65 degrees, and summer means thick fog all day and every day.  I’m soooo over it.

Fortunately, I have friends in sunnier places, and those friends like to throw dessert potlucks.

Or technically, dessert plus taco dip potlucks.  Things like that totally save my sanity.

I agonized over what to make for this little get-together and finally settled on these cupcakes.  They are nice and buttery and make the perfect base for a swirl of cinnamon cream cheese frosting.


(cupcakes from Joy the Baker/, frosting adapted from Cafe Mom)

Cinnamon Rolls

I’m slightly starting to freak out that my Mom’s leaving on Tuesday. I have gotten completely spoiled and I’m kind of in denial that I have to do this baby thing all by myself from 9-5 on the weekdays now.

We took Ellie for a walk in Golden Gate Park again, and I had no idea that Spreckels lake has turtles! I’m clearly easily amused right now, but I thought that was amazing.

Friday night I decided that on Saturday, I would make cinnamon rolls.

I don’t know why I felt this urgent need, since I’ve never made them before, but I browsed foodgawker, found this recipe, and went with it. Ellie helped. (And clearly, finishing the cinnamon rolls was more of an urgent need than drying my hair. I have priorities.)

These were surprisingly easy… for some reason I thought cinnamon rolls would be way more complicated. They take a few hours from start to finish, but are TOTALLY worth it!

(from Cook, Bake & Decorate)

1 cup whole milk
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it’s about 105 degrees.
Stir the yeast and a pinch of sugar into the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and flour and mix well. Knead with the dough hook on medium speed for about 4 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl (the mixing bowl is fine) and cover with a damp towel. Let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon and mix well.

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and lightly flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough into a 16×21 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

Brush the dough with 1/3 cup melted butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar-cinnamon mixture.

Roll the dough up starting with the longer side and cut into 12 rolls.

Arrange the rolls in a lightly greased 9×13 inch glass baking dish. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.

While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown, about 18-20 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the frosting on the rolls while they are still warm.

Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

So, I have a one-week-old already. WHAT?!

The first few days were a complete blur of feeding, changing, and very sporadic sleeping. My parents were here all week, and Mike was home from work, so I really didn’t have to do anything other than hang out with the cutest baby in the world.

This weekend was so beautiful we had to get outside and show Ellie some sights, like Golden Gate Park…

and Ocean Beach.

Between our brief outings, being a human milk machine, and trying to squeeze in any naps I could, I pretty much did NOTHING in the kitchen (other than slicing up honeydew melon and all kinds of unpasteurized cheese, which I ate a ton of…but not together).

I made these muffins the morning I went to the hospital. They ended up being great to snack on while we were sitting around waiting for Ellie to get with the program and make her way into the world.

(adapted from The Curvy Carrot

makes 12 muffins

streusel topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small cubes

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners

To make the streusel topping, combine all of the dry streusel ingredients, then add the cubes of butter and mix with a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the filling, combine all of the cinnamon filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Set aside.

To make the muffins, stir the melted butter, milk, and eggs together until combined.
In another separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is well-mixed and nearly smooth.

Fill each muffin tin halfway full with batter, top with a spoonful of the cinnamon filling, then fill the tin with remaining batter.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over each muffin.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Weekends seem like they’re the perfect time for baking bread, but for me they actually aren’t. I started this bread on Saturday afternoon. Instead of letting it rise for an hour and a half like I was supposed to, I put it in the fridge so we could go and get coffee and browse at a bookstore (it took MUCH longer than an hour and a half…really glad I didn’t keep it on the counter!)

Sunday morning I had to run 15 miles, so I took it out of the fridge pre-run, figuring it would definitely rise a lot while I was gone.

Side note… my knee didn’t hurt AT ALL on the run. And it was BEAUTIFUL…there was snow in the Marin Headlands! That doesn’t happen very often. I know it’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but those hills right under the clouds had snow on top!

After the run I was all set to continue with the bread (even though the dough barely rose), but we both had an urgent need for some Thai noodles. So the dough went back in the fridge while we headed up to the Inner Richmond to satisfy our craving.

King of Thai Noodle House No. 2 (346 Clement St, San Francisco) is one of the only Thai places I’ve found that has all the noodle soups we loved in Thailand. I got the Guay Tiaw Jae and it was absolutely delicious. A huge bowl of flavorful broth, thin rice noodles, and plenty of vegetables. I was in heaven.

After we came home I was FINALLY ready to actually bake the bread. I let it sit out for awhile, then mixed together the ingredients for the filling. Brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon. YUM.

I was recently sent some vanilla and cinnamon from Singing Dog Vanilla. They’re based in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived for a couple of months during college. Their products are fair trade and organic, and I have been really impressed with the quality. Plus I gotta support businesses from my beloved home state! The Red Ape Cinnamon was perfect in this recipe.

I rolled out the dough, which finally seemed to have risen a little bit, and spread the filling over it.

After 40 minutes in the oven (which probably should have been 45 – it was a little doughy inside), I had a beautiful loaf of cinnamon raisin swirl bread, which by the way, is a perfect vehicle for cream cheese. And today, while typing up the recipe, I realized why the dough barely rose. As you’ll see, it calls for 2 TABLEspoons of yeast. I used 2 tsp. Brilliant. And they trust me to teach the youth of America.

(adapted from Steph Chows)

2 tablespoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar + 1/4 cup
3/4 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups bread flour, plus additional for rolling
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
2/3 cup raisins

Combine the warm milk, yeast, and 1 tsp sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, salt, butter, vanilla, agave, and egg and mix well. Add the flours gradually, then mix with the dough hook on medium speed for 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour and a half.

Roll the dough out to a rectangle about 10″ by 20.”

Combine 1 tsp cinnamon, the brown sugar, and the raisins in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the dough then roll up and pinch the ends closed. Put in a greased loaf pan, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then turn out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels

I’d been meaning to make bagels for years, and then last weekend, spontaneously, it just happened Saturday afternoon. I don’t know why I was so intimidated, because honestly it’s not that hard, it’s just kind of time consuming. Not really active, hands-on time, but wait-around-while-they-sit-in-the-fridge-overnight time, which can be just as challenging to deal with if you’re impatient like me.

Saturday afternoon I mixed up the sponge, using some whole wheat flour because I like the flavor it adds. A few hours later I mixed up the dough (again with some whole wheat flour, plus gluten to help the texture), and because our new apartment is the size of a postage stamp, shaped it in the living room (which conveniently doubles as bike storage, an office, and a dining room).

The next morning, after running a half marathon, I came home and had fresh-from-the-oven homemade bagels, and now I’m definitely hooked. I can’t say how these compare to New York Deli bagels because I’ve never had one, but they are light, chewy, and perfect with a thick layer of cream cheese.

(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 1/2 cups water, room temperature

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 cups loosely packed raisins, rinsed with warm water and drained

for boiling
1 tbsp baking soda

To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the warm water until it dissolves. Let stand for a few minutes. Put the flours and gluten in a large bowl. Add the water-yeast mixture and stir until you have a smooth paste.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until the mixture becomes very foamy and bubbly. It should swell to nearly double in size and collapse when the bowl is tapped on the countertop.

To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in water, let stand a few minutes, then stir into the sponge. Add the wheat flour, gluten, cinnamon, sugar, salt and brown sugar. Stir (or mix on low speed with the dough hook) until the ingredients form a ball, then slowly working add the bread flour about 1/2 cup at a time. Finally, add the raisins. Knead for at least 10 minutes (or use the dough hook attachment and put the mixer at medium speed for about 7 minutes), so you end up with a stiff, smooth dough with no traces of flour.

Divide the dough in 16 pieces and form into rolls. Let them rest, covered with a damp towel, for about 20 minutes. Line 3 baking sheets with silpats or parchment. Pick up one roll of dough, poke your thumbs through it, and gently stretch the hole out so it’s about 2″ in diameter. Try to keep the bagel an even thickness all the way around the hole. After shaping all the bagels, cover the pans with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Then fill a small bowl with cool water, place one bagel in it, and see if it floats within 10 seconds. If it does, the pans can go into the fridge (dry the tester bagel first), but if it doesn’t they need to sit out at room temperature a little longer.
Once your bagel floats, transfer the covered pans to the refrigerator to rest overnight (or for at least 6 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large, wide pot of water to a boil and add the baking soda. Have a slotted spoon or skimmer ready. Gently drop the bagels (as many as you can fit in the pan in a single layer) into the water and boil for one minute, then flip and boil an additional minute. Remove from the water and place back on the baking sheets. Bake for about 5 minutes, then rotate the pans and switch shelves and bake for another 5 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and transfer the bagels to cooling racks. Give them about 20 minutes to cool before eating.

Bread and Butter Pudding

This is kind of a tricky post for me to write, because I really don’t like bread pudding (or rice pudding, or most custards). I’m really not a picky eater, but there’s something about the texture of bread pudding that just bothers me. It’s not quite creamy, it’s not quite a custard…it’s the dessert that can’t make up its mind. And it doesn’t have frosting, which basically means its not worth eating.

But I realize there are millions of people out there that adore bread pudding, and my in-laws are two of them. My mother-in-law recently had a birthday and since Ireland is one of her favorite places on Earth, I turned to my new Irish cookbook to find something to bake for her. Bread and butter pudding immediately seemed like the perfect thing to make (and my father-in-law ended up saying it was some of the best he’d ever had, so I know I made the right choice).

Because I won’t blog anything without tasting it (unless it has meat), I can say that this, unfortunately, didn’t really change my opinion of bread pudding. I loved the brown sugar on top, though, and the cinnamon and nutmeg flavors were nice but not overpowering. I guess you’ll just have to take my in-laws’ word for it: this is a total winner!

(adapted from The Country Cooking of Ireland)

2 tbps softened butter
8 slices good white bread, crusts removed and cut diagonally in quarters
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Butter each triangle of bread on one side. Arrange the slices in a 2-quart baking dish, then sprinkle the raisins over them.

Mix 1/4 cup sugar wit the nutmeg and cinnamon, and sprinkle it over the bread slices.

Beat the eggs with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then stir in the cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour evenly over the bread and then sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until browned on top (and liquid is absorbed).

Some say it’s even better after chilling in the refrigerator overnight.

Baklava Muffins

Growing up with parents who both had a pretty major sweet tooth, I got dessert for breakfast more than a lot of other kids I knew. Leftover pumpkin pie? Perfectly acceptable post-Thanksgiving breakfast. Beginning of strawberry season? Breakfast made the most of fresh berries with strawberry shortcake.

These muffins aren’t exactly like eating baklava for breakfast, but they do feel a little indulgent. They’re not overly sweet, but the cinnamon-walnut filling and honey brushed over the top are reminiscent of the flavors in baklava. Mike wasn’t sold – he thought there was something missing (maybe I should have added a little rosewater to the filling), but I loved these and their subtle sweetness.

(adapted from How To Be a Domestic Goddess)

makes 12

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp melted butter

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1 cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk

1/4 cup honey

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Mix gently with a fork.

Line a 12-muffin tin with paper liners. Fill each 1/3 of the way with batter, top with a spoonful of filling, then top with more batter. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. As soon as the muffins come out of the oven, brush each with about 1 tsp of honey, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


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